Sunday, November 23, 2008

New York City & Waiting 8 weeks for Border Collie # 2

I spent this weekend in NYC visiting my friend Rachel. We have known each other since before we remember and are still really good friends. We always have a good time together. Her and her boyfriend Teddy have a beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. NYC was unbelievably cold...painfully cold. I had to borrow some of her winter stuff.

Rachel's Apartment

Waiting to go for a walk. Border Collies can survive in NYC!

Rachel and Teddy

Inside the Apt

Cute little kitchen

On Friday night we went out for Haitian food in Harlem and then had a lazy Saturday morning, making it to brunch by 1 pm. We went to a place called Hells Kitchen ( I had a unique dish that was a spinach pie on a croissant with eggs. It was cooked perfectly. The draw to this place is the unlimited refills on bloody marys, mimosas and screwdrivers. I did not enjoy this offer, but everyone else thought it was pretty exciting.

Later we went to Erins (a friend from NJ) 30th Bday party in Brooklyn. It was good to catch up with some old friends, especially Lyz who we met up with later that night.

Rachel and Lyz

The Dare X Corrie puppies are finally here! Since she had 6 we are definitely getting one. Ben is extremely excited. I'm disappointed that I won't be there for most of his/her puppyhood. Poor Ari thought he was done with annoying border collies and now he is going to be stuck with another baby one (the worst kind in his opinion). Ben will be flying to pick up his new puppy in about 8 weeks. Here is the breakdown of puppy colors:

red tri girl
red merle girl
blue merle tri girl
black/white boy
red merle boy
black/white girl

They will be posting videos regularly here...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My parents generously offered to buy us the set of dinnerware of our choice as a wedding gift. I had a hard time deciding, but eventually went with all white. Hopefully we will enjoy it for many years and it won't ever look dated. Its by Mikasa and called "Italian Countryside". To make up for the boring white we decided to get patterned serving plates and bowls. We decided on "Chirp" by Lenox (Ben loves the birds....even in serving pieces). We will not miss our mismatched, chipped plates and bowls that we have collected over the years.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Visit, Baking, Electronics and Puppies!

Good thing I'm keeping busy on the weekends because my food service rotation is going to feel very very long. Its only been two weeks and I'm 100% sure that a career in hospital food service management is NOT in my future. I was pretty sure already, but now there is no doubt. There is little room in a hospital for promoting the type of eating that I believe in. Its wasteful of resources and full of processed food. In an effort to save labor time, many hospitals make very few foods from scratch anymore.

My parents visited again this weekend. We went out to their favorite breakfast spot, Esselon and then back later in the day for coffee. They can't get enough of Esselon! They have never been to Smith College Art Museum, so even though I've been before I went straight to my favorite paintings and stared. I couldn't find images of the exact paintings, so here are some by the artists I like.

by Camille Pissaro

Village on the Banks of the Seine. 1872 by Alfred Sisley

An out of doors study, John Singer Sargent.

The South Ledges, Appledore by Childe Hassam. American Impressionism

On Saturday night we went out to for some mediocre Indian food in downtown and then to the Calvin Theatre to see Ira Glass. He might be coming to a theater near you and I highly recommend seeing him if you can. He is truly gifted at telling stories. Although I guess if you have never heard of him and you are not an NPR listener, it may not be the same experience. In that case I suggest listening to his weekly radio show and you will be hooked. I learned from his show how he structures his stories, so maybe I can make my blog posts more interesting by taking some tips from him.

Did you think you were going to get away without some flyball talk? Nah! So Anyway, my favorite things about flyball are having a happy dog with a job and the team aspect. Coming to a new part of the country and getting started with flyball is awkward at first without a team. Now that I have been here for a few months, I am excited that Indy and I found a team that has invited us to join them until we leave next summer. It will be especially fun because she is going to be on a really fast team, faster than any team that will happen with Jet City Jumpers anytime soon. Speed is definitely not my top priority (although it does make it more exciting) when it comes to flyball....its about the people and the dogs having fun. I'm very fortunate to have met such awesome flyball people here in Mass and to be able to go back and join our flyball friends in Seattle next year (that is of course if they let me back on the team after being mavericky and racing with another team).

This weekend we had a scrimmage, where Indy had a chance to practice with her new team and her new handler. Somehow I managed to schedule my next three vacations during flyball tournaments, so Amanda is going to run Indy for me. At least Indy gets to travel while Im traveling!

Since I have so much time on my hands when I'm not doing something with Indy or interning. I have been working on my baking and cooking skills. On Friday I made banana bread, not that exciting but I found a really good recipe on and I bought bananas even though I don't really like them and am trying to not buy them to support local agriculture, so I ended up with almost rotten bananas that I felt bad about eating. I more bananas and I'll even swear off mangos! Don't mess with my sugar, chocolate, coffee or spices though, that would be crazy.

Yummy Buttery Banana Bread


  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces and a few handfuls of chocolate chips (everything is better with chocolate)


Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don't worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

There is no good segue for this topic so I'm just going for it.....I am really frustrated with the limitations of my camera, so with the help of Kenneth (my father in-law) I decided to get a Nikon. Im pretty sure it will be the D60 or D80 . So watch out for some better photos soon!

While I'm at it I wouldn't mind a Canon VIXIA HV MiniDV HD Camcorder. Just as soon as I get a job (not in food service management)....this will be the first thing I get. I think Ben and I would regret it if we didn't have videos to record our life together. Its only $541 on sale from $900.

We just got a picture of pregnant Dare. Her pups are due on 1/22! Isn't she pretty? Ben is patiently waiting to find out if his new puppy is in there! I' m expecting some major blog contributions from Ben if he gets the pup. So we can watch him/her grow up.

My Massachusetts Home

Sunday, November 9, 2008

F-150, Hospital Food Service, Maine Flyball

When I got home from Chicago I had to finish up my presentation on childhood obesity so I did not end up going to my 10 year high school reunion. I do not have any regrets about it, and frankly I was dreading it anyway. Even if I did want to go, I wouldn't have had the option because my car broke down on Halloween. The only rental car left within walking distance was a Ford F-150. It was way to massive for me and I think I looked ridiculous driving it. I do have future plans to get a smaller truck when my CRV is done.

Luckily my car was fixable and was ready in time for me to start my new rotation at Noble Hospital. Adjusting to 8 hours of standing in a hospital kitchen will be hard, but I have learned a lot already and am trying to keep a positive attitude. I am looking forward to working with them to use less disposable products and to start recycling. I might even be able to convince them that its worth their effort to use some local produce and animal products. The food service management rotation is the one that most people like the least because its not really related to nutrition. After one week I can already say that I like it better than my community rotation.

A food service mishap in the UMASS cafeteria

My friend Taryn and I traveled to the Maine coast for some flyball this weekend. This was our first full-time tournament in this region. Indy and her team did very well with very few problems, taking 2nd place in their division. It was nice to be on a team that did really well and got lots of points. Indy was the 4th dog in the line-up, so I learned a lot about how to have a good pass. We did have some ball dropping issues at the end, which I will most likely always have to work on with her. She ran a few 4.0 second heats and her team had some times around 18 seconds. She was in more races than ever before, so she was exhausted and still is!

I took lots of videos and am working on getting them on you tube. Sorry about the quality. I am learning that my flip video is limited to close up vidoes with not much motion....not great for flyball.

After 7 races

Taryn after watching 90 races

The club that hosted the tournament went all out with a human/dog pie eating contest and a lobster dinner on Saturday night. Taryn and I had both ate full lobsters.....I'm not sure if I'll do that again. On our way back we stopped at a seafood shack for lunch in Bath, ME and then to Freeport, ME to check out the outlets. LL Bean did not have the plaid flannel shirt I was hoping for.

A lobster roll - hot dog bun, lobster meat, mayo. A Maine specialty

Some pictures from a few weeks ago.... Just as Indy is getting more confident to swim, the weather is changing to freezing. I have big plans for her to do some serious swimming year.